Master Chef


Often times, during the summer, there’s a week or two when most of my family is in one place, visiting my parents.  Occasionally, someone (Jessie) will be proactive enough to put together a family game of sorts.  One year we did “The Newlywed Game” with each couple competing against the others.  We’ve also done a supermarket relay with the wives describing items over the phone to their husbands, who were dashing madly around the store trying to find all their items first.  This year, my sister Jessie came up with the idea to do a Family Master Chef competition.  It required some work, but it was a lot of fun.

The husbands opted out (party poopers!) so the sisters, inlaws, and our mother were the participants.  Even our sister, who was on the other side of the country, helped out as our lifeline (She’s the real gourmet in the family). Each round, we were put in teams of two, making three teams total.  The first round, we drew a key ingredient out of a hat and we had to make something from scratch without any recipes using the ingredient, which happened to be Choke Cherries.  Picked fresh from my parent’s yard.  The difficult thing about choke cherries is that they are mostly pit, hence the name.

Lindsey and Danica made chicken and beans with a choke cherry sauce, served over pasta. 












Ann Marie and Jessie and my mom and I had the same idea- choke cherry bars- but when we realized that we were making the same thing, Ann Marie and Jessie took a slightly different route and ended up with fritters topped with a choke cherry strawberry sauce.












Mom and I did choke cherry lemon bars that didn’t quite set up the way we had hoped.












The next day we did round two. We switched up the teams and each team had to draw a gourmet recipe out of the hat and make it.

Danica and I made a spinach souffle.

Jessie and Mom did chili crusted flank steak with mango salsa.

Lindsey and Ann Marie made an almond chocolate torte.

The third day was a little less formal.  Each family brought their favorite pizza toppings and we all made our own gourmet pizzas.  Mmmmm…..

The menfolk served as film crew and food critics.  If I can figure out how, I’ll upload the film version of our little competition.

What does your family do when they get together?   What game do you think we should play next year?


2 responses »

  1. Yep, that was fun! You never mentioned who won, though….. 🙂 Next year we are going to learn line dancing like in Jane Austens time. I’m already practicing up on my classical piano songs!

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